Since the month of May was established as Mental Health Month in 1949, advocates across the country have led its observance and spread the word that mental health is something that impacts all social systems.
Courts are in a unique position to move beyond advocacy by bringing communities together to communicate, collaborate, and improve justice system and community responses that improve public health and safety issues that often emanate from undertreated or untreated mental health disorders.
This Mental Health Month, the Illinois Mental Health Task Force is proud to share how Illinois Courts are leading with the sentiment of mental health month each and every day, through effectuating the Task Force’s Action Plan.”
Approved by the Supreme Court of Illinois in November of 2022 and introduced throughout the state in February of 2023 via web event, court and justice partners throughout the state are using the Action Plan as a guide to improving responses to individuals living with mental health and co-occurring substance use disorders.
The Action Plan embraces the Sequential Intercept Model (SIM)*, developed by Mark Munetz, MD, and Patricia Griffin, PhD, in conjunction with the SAMHSA’s GAINS Center and includes recommendations supporting the following strategic goals:
- Courts as Conveners
- Training Opportunities Across the Intercepts
- Awareness Across the Intercepts
- Best Practices: Intercepts Zero – Five
*(Intercepts include Community Services, Law Enforcement, Initial Detention/Court Hearings, Jails/Courts, Reentry, Community Corrections)
Since commencing the Action Plan, Task Force members, the Administrative Office of Illinois Courts’ Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer and Senior Program Manager for Inclusive Access have hosted virtual meetings with judges, mental or behavioral health providers, lawyers, and other stakeholders to identify and share information, resources, and opportunities identified within the plan’s 37 recommendations.
Moving forward, all justice and behavioral health stakeholders are encouraged to review the plan and its recommendations and determine where and how to get started within your communities. Regardless of the starting point, the Task Force is here to provide technical assistance and consultation.
ACTION PLAN MAJOR ACTIVITIES AND PROGRESS REPORT: MAY 2023
For more information, please email:
Statewide Behavioral Health Administrator
Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts